5 minute read

Coronavirus: Minimising your ad spend short term while preparing for the future

The midst of the current coronavirus crisis is a strange time to be in advertising. On one hand, with less people leaving their homes, many are not looking to purchase their new spring wardrobe from their favourite online shop. However, searches such as “loungewear” have seen a massive increase in the last month, showing people are still searching and purchasing online – but their priorities have shifted. 

As audiences’ priorities change, now is the time to take a look at your paid marketing efforts to understand how you can maximise your budget in the short term.

Paid search

In general, non-essential services are seeing a reduction in search traffic across the board. However, due to brands overall reducing spend, we are also seeing a reduction in cost per click (CPCs). This means your website can gain visibility and traffic for far less spend. 

It is important to keep an eye on search terms. For example, a mortgage broker could receive leads off of general terms like “mortgages”, but that term may pull in searches such as “mortgage relief Covid-19.” Restructure your campaigns’ negative keyword list, or pause them for the time being if these products cannot be processed. 

Analyse bid adjustments

There may be an increase to demand on specific days of the week and devices to follow sales trends, but most of those trends have now gone out the window. Microsoft Ads (Bing) are seeing a shift as many people are now working from home. “The usual weekend spikes have disappeared and now consumers are shopping for clothes consistently throughout the week.” Monitor these new trends you’re seeing across Google and Microsoft Ads and tweak bid adjustments as needed to ensure you’re spending in the most effective manner. 

Test upper funnel initiatives

Search demand is down for many brands. However, many of us are spending more time than ever before scrolling on our devices during downtime. Capture these audiences with eye catching videos, gifs and images, and find new audiences across social channels while reminding current audiences you are still here and operational. Use paid social campaigns to target those with similar social habits as your current customers, and dig down into interests, hobbies, and locations to reach new audiences. 

Shopping campaigns

As noted above, audiences are still searching for products online. Now is the time to assess your inventory and see if your product priorities need to change. You may have been hoping to push a new Spring Collection, but your budget could be better put towards your yoga wear, for example, with a wear-at-home focus in ad copy, sitelinks and product descriptions. 

The great thing about paid shopping ads, is that products are only shown to those searching with intent. It’s worth continuing to run your product feed, but make sure to undertake daily analysis to ensure the budget is being spent wisely. It’s also key to ensure products in paid shopping campaigns are kept up to date, particularly if your supply chain could be affected at this time. This ensures your budget is only put towards interactions that can lead to transactions. This may take some extra comms between your organisation’s buying teams and those who manage the campaigns, but will be worth it. 

Brick and mortar businesses 

If your business does not have an online store, but you’re using paid activity to drive footfall, it’s time to pause that activity and look for other ways to reach your audience. This is a good opportunity to grow your upper funnel activity: use social media to showcase your business and your products/services. Targeting through Facebook’s business manager can allow you to reach new audiences via Facebook and Instagram, and grow patronage for when it’s time to open your doors again. SMEs can also take advantage of ad grants from Facebook and Google. 

It is a whole new world we are navigating, and it can be difficult to assess the right steps to take to protect your business and your budget. If you want to maximise your budget more effectively, be sure to reach out to AGY47 with any questions. Our proactive paid marketing team is more than happy to help.